War Heros Search for Peace at "Wall"
Oshkosh-- War veterans in Oshkosh are remembering those lost in the Vietnam War. A nearly full-size replica of Washington D.C.'s Vietnam Memorial Wall is at Sunnyview Expo Center in Oshkosh this weekend. Many visitors are trying to find one or two of the more than 58,000 names. The traveling Vietnam memorial, is about 80% the size of the permanent wall. A replica, perhaps, but it moves people just the same.
At a glance, the names blur. "I need Donald Last," asks Air Force veteran Duane Canon. Visitors with a name go to a desk, and a volunteer looks up which panel and row it's located on the wall. Canon is looking for two names, one is a close friend, the other a old classmate. "Very nice guy, very fun to be with, Canon remembers.
Canon is actually the President of Vietnam Veterans of America, Chapter 437. He helped bring the 360-foot wall to Oshkosh. He's a strong man yet languished by a powerful image. "There are times that I can be fine and all of a sudden it just gets to you, 58,000 plus names on the wall," Canon wells.
Army medic Jerry Hintz was on the front lines in Vietnam. "I'd be grabbing them by the scruff of the neck and trying to pull them out of fire." Today, he's with his granddaughter and grandson. "I wanted to make sure he knew what all this was about."
Gerald Burghaus lost a dear friend many years ago. Seeing his name didn't bring him much peace. "I'm kind of sad today, because it brougth back some memories of the things that Richie and I used to do. He never made it home," Burghaus said. Sacrifice bares many names The list runs long.